Act of kindness #33: Vending machine goodies

I’ve been itching to do this kindness act for quite a while now, and have been waiting for the opportunity.

I was inspired after seeing how an anonymous donor left free treats in a vending machine at Christie’s cancer hospital in Manchester (see here). I’ve left money taped to a public vending machine before, but this is different.

I wanted to find a vending machine frequently used by the doctors, nurses and staff in a hospital. And today as I had a hospital appointment, l finally got that chance.

After my appointment, I set about searching for a vending machine staff which used, but was told that there are only vending machines in public areas.

And I really wanted the hardworking hospital staff to benefit from this act of kindness.

So I kept asking.

Eventually, someone overheard me talking to the main receptionist and suggested I try the theatre reception, as she thought there was a vending machine which the public didn’t have access too – but warned I may have difficultly being allowed into the ‘staff only’ area.

Bingo!

So back up the long corridor I went in search of the theatre reception, but got a little confused by all the different signs and entrances. Then, I saw a nurse about to go into the theatre area and thought I’d ask her for help.

As she turned around, I realised it was an old childhood friend I haven’t seen in oodles of years!

What are the odds!!

She works in theatre and was just returning from a meeting. As I explained my kindness mission, she kindly let me go with her into the ‘staff only’ area and stayed with me throughout.

WooHoo!!!!

I bought a selection of chocolate bars and stuck a note on the front to explain why there are goodies lying in the bottom of the machine.

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vending machine close up

My friend took a photo and emailed it to the theatre department to let them know. I hope a few of them got to enjoy a sweet snack on this rainy Tuesday afternoon, and know that they are very much appreciated for the incredible job that they do.

☆♡☆

ps if you found one of the snacks, I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below (and if you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please do let me know).

Happy 2nd Blog-aversary!

Being grateful for my 2 year blog-aversary:

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It’s been two years since I took a big deep breath and clicked ‘publish’ on my first ever post.

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The butterflies were dancing around in my tummy as I finally let myself start this exciting new chapter in my healing journey.

And I could not have imagined how brilliant a journey it’s been so far.

I started writing maketodayhappy.co.uk to do just that by finding the happy in the everyday little things.

Of course, it’s not always easy: there are times when I feel too crap to care. But I gently and kindly let myself feel whatever I’m feeling, knowing that this too shall pass. And then when I’m ready to pick myself up and start again, I look for the little things in my everyday life to be happy about – usually starting with the bed I’m lying in, the curtains that keep the light out, my lovely mum for bringing me cups of tea.

I know it may sound a bit cheesy, but writing this blog has truly been life changing.

Writing about being grateful inspires me to be more grateful. It helps me to notice all the wonderful things I have to be grateful for, even if I’ve had to spend the day in bed because of a symptom flare-up.

Writing about being mindful helps me stay in the present moment more often (it’s still a work-in-progress, but I’m getting better and better at it). It helps me to not get so caught up in my symptoms or the uncertainty around my health and future.

And writing about being kind inspires me to keep spreading a little more kindness whenever and wherever I can. I had no idea how much being a little kinder would have a positive impact on how I feel: kindness really does help the giver as much as the receiver in my experience.

I also had absolutely no idea that my Kindness Calendars would reach so many beautiful people, all around our beautiful planet. My Kindness Advent Calendar post has received an astonishing 1.3 million visitors, which is mind-blowingly fantastic! I would have been on cloud nine just to know I’ve helped inspired one person to do one extra act of kindness! Thinking about everyone who took part – and continues to do so with my monthly Kindness Calendars – fills my heart with such gratitude.  You truly are AMAZING.

Some of my most popular posts over these last two years are:
1. My Kindness Calendar posts
2. Act of kindness #23: World Kindness Day Goody Bags
3. 100 Days of Happy: Day 4: Soul stroll
4. 100 Days of Happy:  Day 71: Yoga every damn day!
5. 100 Days of Happy: Day 87: You’ve been RACK’ed!
6. More Days of Happy: Hello Summer, is that you?
7. More Days of Happy: ME/CFS Awareness Day

Two years on and the butterflies are still there when I click ‘publish’. And to be honest, I never want them to go away, as it shows how much I still care. I love the excitement and trepidation I feel when I write and publish a post.

I’ve really missed writing the last couple of months due to the debilating vertigo and headaches. And I really can’t wait to start writing more posts once I’m well enough.

Finally, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to you for reading my posts. I love hearing from you and truly, madly, deeply appreciate each and every one of your kind comments – they really do inspire me to keep going. Thank you for being the lovely person that you are.

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See you soon,
Love and hugs, Helen Xxx

Kindness Calendar: July 2017

Hello lovelies and Hello July ♡

First of all I’d like to say a big warm THANK YOU for all your wonderful well wishes and kind words.

I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to respond to every lovely message – I’m still having to keep my screen time down to an absolute minimum, but please know that each and every message is warmly received and deeply appreciated.

Hearing from you really does brighten my day, especially when I’m having to spend the day lying in a dark, quiet room as I journey through these new debilitating symptoms of vertigo and headaches.

Unfortunately, I still have the symptoms. Although I did enjoy a short respite when my GP gave me some temporary medication to see if it would help.

Although I prefer not to take this kind of medication if I can help it – I’ll always choose to explore natural healing methods first – I was persuaded to give it a go as I so desperately wanted the dizziness to stop.

I was given a week’s supply, and it seemed to work… but when I finished the packet, the symptoms soon came back.

So I’m currently exploring possible causes (eye strain, inner ear imbalance, trapped/damaged nerve), but I’ve also read that vertigo and headaches are common symptoms of CFS. So I may have to simply accept them and gracefully ride this wave.

During my symptom-free week, I felt well enough to gently and slowly create July’s Kindness Calendar, being mindful of keeping screen time short and sweet.

And so without further ado, here it is… my Kindness Calendar for July 2017:

Kindness Calendar July 2017

And you can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar: July 2017

(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving post this by email, please click to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, or even create your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.

But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day this month – imagine how amazing that would be!

Again, it would be really brilliant and deeply appreciated if you could share this with family, friends, work colleagues, classmates… and share all over social media. 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

Let’s have fun, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well, we are definitely worth it!

Have an JOY-FILLED JULY and thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar: June 2017

Hello lovelies

Unfortunately I’ve not been well enough to create a Kindness Calendar for June.

I’ve been experiencing strong headaches and vertigo-type symptoms for a few weeks now, and even the shortest amount of screen-time brings these debilitating symptoms on (it’s taken me a few minutes a day over a few days to write this teensy weensy post!).

It’s pretty frustrating, scary and isolating, but I’m hoping with enough rest, a little time and oodles of gentle loving patience, this too shall pass.

If you’d like to spread a little kindness in June, I have a few ideas:

  1. Check out my previous Kindness Calendars and pick out your favourite kindness acts from each, or even redo your favourite month

    Kindness Calendars Collage Dec-May.jpg

  2. Make up your own acts of kindness (I’d love to hear about them)

  3. Be spontaneous with your acts of kindness. Look out for opportunities to be kind to others throughout the day

And please don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Have a truly Joyful June and see you next month.

Thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar: May 2017

Hello lovelies and Hello to Magnificent May ♡

Here are some fun facts about May:

  1. Thе name Mау is believed to generate frоm Mаіа, the Greek goddess of fertility. She also hарреnѕ tо bе thе Goddess of Spring аnd Grоwth.
  2. May’s birthstone is the emerald which symbolises love and success.
  3. The flower for May is Lily of the Valley. In the “language of flowers”, the lily of the valley signifies the return of happiness. Legend tells of the affection of a Lily of the Valley for a nightingale that did not come back to the woods until the flower bloomed in May.
  4. No other month begins or ends on the same day of the week during the year as May does.
  5. May Day – the first day of the month – marks the halfway point between the northern hemisphere’s first day of spring and the summer solstice.
  6. Sоmе Nаtіvе Amеrісаn tribes called the Mау full moon Thе Full Flоwеr Mооn, The Cоrn Plаntіng Mооn or thе Mіlk Mооn.
  7. According to old superstitions, you should not buy a broom, wash blankets or get married in May: “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day”!!

[Facts courtesy of nationaldaycalendar.com and thestudyabroadportal.com]

Here is May’s Kindness Calendar:

Kindness Calendar May 2017

And you can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar – May 2017

(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving this post by email, please click here or come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, or even create your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.

But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day this month – imagine how amazing that would be!

Again, it would be really brilliant and deeply appreciated if you could share this with family, friends, work colleagues, classmates… and share all over social media. 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

Let’s have fun, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well, we are definitely worth it!

Have an MARVELLOUS MAY and thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

☆♡☆

You can download May’s Kindness Calendar here:

Kindness Calendar – May 2017

Kindness Calendar: April 2017

Hello lovelies ♡

I hope you had the most Marvellous March and are enjoying the change of season, whether you’re in the northern or southern hemisphere.

As a warmer weather, lighter days, kind of girl, I’m delighted to be seeing all the signs of spring here in the UK (although at the time of writing it’s misty and drizzly but you get my drift!!).

And so April is upon us, and with Easter being on its way, my Kindness Calendar for this month is eggstra-special 🙂

Kindness Calendar April 2017 teaser

You can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar – April 2017

(Please note if you kindly subscribe to my blog and are receiving this post by email, please click to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, or even create your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.

But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day this month – imagine how amazing that would be!

Again, it would be really brilliant and deeply appreciated if you could share this with family, friends, work colleagues, classmates… and share all over social media 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

Let’s have fun, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well, we are definitely worth it!

Have an AMAZING APRIL and  EGG-STRAORDINARY EASTER.

Thank you so much for your kindness.

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar – April 2017

Act of kindness #32: Lovely letters

Over the last few days, I’ve been writing letters for the ‘One Million Lovely Letters Exhibition’.

The organiser, big-hearted Jodi Ann Bickley, started her One Million Lovely Letters project with the simple but gorgeous idea to send a lovely letter to anyone who needs a little lift.

It’s become a huge success and she has written and sent oodles and oodles of lovely letters to people all over the world.

Now, she is asking for help.

Jodi’s first exhibition is at Centrala in Digbeth, Birmingham (UK) from 10th April.  And she’d like folks to write a ‘Dear You’ letter to be included in the exhibition.

As Jodi explains, they need to be “letters of positivity that will be put up in the exhibition that any one that visits will be able to read and take the letter they feel speaks to them at that specific moment in time”.

The theme of this exhibition is “A letter to my younger self; a letter full of hope to a stranger or a letter of guidance to a younger, lost you.”

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It’s such a brilliant idea, I couldn’t resist writing and sending a few lovely letters…

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Here’s the info with the address if you fancy sending a letter or two to be included in one of Jodi’s fabulous exhibitions.

Or if you’d like to receive a letter from Jodi, or would like to nominate someone who’d appreciate one, please send an email with the address and reason to: onemillionlovelyletters@gmail.com

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar – March 2017

Does anyone else feel like we’re galloping though this year? While I try to live in the present moment, I can’t help but feel a tad taken aback that March is already here!

But I’m very happy as March is one of my favourite months of the year.

I’m especially delighted that it means winter is almost behind us and spring is on its way.  I’ve been hunting for signs of spring on my soul strolls for a while now, and am rejoicing at seeing the daffs and the crocuses brightening up my neighbourhood.

I’m also thankful the days are becoming lighter and longer. It’s lovely waking up to see some pretty stunning sunrises, as I can now see the early morning sun rising from the comfort on my very own bed.

Yes, there’s definitely a sense of spring in the air and everyone seems to have a little more spring in their step.

Hooray!

And I also love that March is my birthday month. I’m a self-confessed Birthday Princess – and urge everyone else to be one too (or a Birthday Prince of course!).

After all, aren’t we worth celebrating!

I love having birthday adventures and enjoy plotting how I can celebrate being on our beautiful Earth for another year.  My most memorable birthday adventures include a helicopter ride over the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, being on a yoga retreat in spiritual Bali, and turning thirty in New York City was pretty special too.

But obviously with the limitations that having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome brings, my birthdays have been a lot more low key recently, but no less enjoyable – just in a different way. And nothing really beats having my young munchkin nephews gleefully singing Happy Birthday and then “helping” me blow out all the candles 🙂

And so with this new month approaching, I’ve been busily working on March’s Kindness Calendar over the last few days. And I’m pretty excited to include a few ideas from some wonderful folk from my ‘spreading a little kindness’ Facebook community.

A big thank you to everyone who’s contributed. I’ve saved a couple for next month, so keep an eye out if you can’t spot yours in this month’s calendar! Please do keep them coming as I’m always delighted to hear your ideas, suggestions and any favourites you may have.

Ok, here’s my Kindness Calendar for March 2017:

Kindness Calendar March 2017

And you can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar – March 2017

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, or even create your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.

But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day this month – imagine how amazing that would be!

Again, it would be really brilliant and deeply appreciated if you could share this with family, friends, work colleagues, classmates… and share all over social media. 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

Let’s have fun, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well, we are definitely worth it!

Have a Magnificent March and thank you so much for your kindness.

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar – March 2017

A Little Note to my Lovely Email Subscribers:
I’m so sorry the link to download the calendar on my email didn’t work. Eeeek!! I’m trying a new download tool and for some reason, it didn’t want to be included in the email! And I didn’t know until it was too late. I’ll hopefully be able to work out the problem for next month’s calendar. Thank you for your patience and understanding ♡

Act of Kindness #29: Free chocolate, anyone?

Happy Random Act of Kindness (RAK) Day!

Today, I wanted to do something a little bit more special, while still taking into consideration the limitations of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

And so I decided to hand out a few chocolate bars to strangers in the street!

As my budget is also very limited, I thought I’d email a few of the larger confectionary companies to see if they’d be happy to help me by donating a few bars.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard back from them… but I imagine they must receive lots of requests like mine.

I also asked my kind-hearted local Co-op Foods as they’ve given members of our local community – including lucky ole me!- goody bags filled with lovely things around Christmas-time.

I was thrilled when they said YES!

And I was over-the-moon when they delivered 88 bars of their yummy chocolate (and it really is yummy if you haven’t already discovered it!).

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Then a big-hearted friend said she would donate £50 of her own hard-earned cash to buy chocolate bars with. And on behalf of RAK Day, I simply couldn’t refuse her kind offer.  (THANK YOU my lovely!)

And believe me when I tell you I had a LOT Of fun choosing which choccies to buy and couldn’t believe my eyes when I loaded up my trolley with 205 bars – thanks to a brilliant offer on at the supermarket!

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This makes an incredible, grand total of 300 chocolate bars for my RAK Day giveaway.

WooHoooo!!

I wanted to attach one of my kindness cards to each bar, explaining what the give-away was all about. And I’m so thankful for my lovely mum for helping me write them and then attach them to the bars.

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We couldn’t believe it when we filled up the rucksack-on-wheels my sis lent me for the occasion. And then filled up half a carrier bag too!!

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This morning, I recruited the much-needed and deeply appreciated help of my lovely mum and 8 yr-old nephew Callum, and we all headed down to our city’s Old Market Square.

And they were such kindness superstars. (THANK YOU mum and Callum ♡)

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At first Callum was a little too shy to hand out any bars with us, but it wasn’t long before he joined in the fun and then really got into the spirit of it, which was really heart-warming to see.

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My mum was absolutely brilliant and was happy to go into some of the city centre shops to hand out bars to the hand-working staff.

Mum+Callum in tram centre

As we stood in the Old Market Square offering bars of chocolates to passersby, some people practically ran away from us. Some people were a little suspicious at first, but then seemed happy to accept a chocolate bar once we explained what we were doing. And some people happily accepted straight away.

We got a few hugs, lots of thank yous, and oodles of big smiles.

Hooray 🙂

We were even joined by our city’s newspaper, the Nottingham Post, who’d come along to capture the choc-fest fun! Click here to see what they wrote.

With only a few bars left, we were feeling rather hungry and headed for a celebratory lunch. Then after giving all the staff a chocolate bar, we slipped into a city centre car park and popped the rest onto cars so that their owners can enjoy a sweet surprise when they return after a hard day’s shopping.

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And now as I’m utterly wiped out after all this RAK Week fun, I’m heading to bed for a few days to recover.

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But I do so with a happy heart and the hope that we’ve made a few people smile this week, and brightened up a few people’s days.

☆♡☆

ps if you have received one of chocolate bars – thank you for visiting! I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below (and if you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please do let me know).

pps Huuuuuuge thanks again to both the big-hearted Kerry at Co-Op Foods Hucknall, and my kind-hearted friend who wishes to remain anonymous. Today wouldn’t have been possible without your kind donations ♡

ppps please forgive any mistakes as I’m super-duper tired whilst writing this, but I wanted to post before I zonk out! Night, night!!